David LaChapelle, he of the horrible stagy photographs, has sniffed out the latest ghetto thang: "krumping" or "clown dancing." It sounds intense and fun to watch, as described in Forward Retreat's review of LaChappelle's film documentary on the trend. ("More lyrical than the rock/pop jerks of breakdancing, clowning and krumping involve a level of physicality so intensely rhythmic that one could mistake dance practice for a gang fight. Combining hip hop, breaking, the martial arts and strip dancing techniques--just to point out a few more recognizable influences--young dancers pump their booties like machine gunfire.") The blog then issues a challenge:
Go ahead, let it rip. Scream "cultural appropriation" and run wildly through the halls of the nearest University's Anthropology department. Deride LaChappelle as a slutty Vanity Fair-contracted commercial photographer. Then see Krumped, and prove yourself wrong.
Cultural appropriation will likely occur at the MTV, DVD, McDonald's movie tie-in level, given the entertainment industry's inability to produce anything original--this sounds like a natural. Where LaChappelle "bravely" led, others will follow. The challenge perhaps ought to be--how long before white kids in the burbs are doing this? Six months? A year?

I herewith offer a related counter-trend which, lacking the potential for shots of tight youthful buns, will never be as big as krumping: Kaiju Big Battel (sic). From the Boston Phoenix: "Kaiju, which means 'mysterious beast' in Japanese, is a Boston-based monster-wrestling league that stages full-scale matches, contests, and tournaments...[i]nfluenced by Japanese anime, World Championship Wrestling subplots, and the kitsch of dubbed monster-movie cult classics like Ultraman..."

more pics / more Boston Phoenix (hat tip to Kristin for the link.)

Kaiju Big Battel

UPDATE: T.Whid politely suggests that KBB is old news but I say it's never too late to pose anything as a counter-trend to David LaChappelle.

- tom moody 12-29-2004 9:30 pm

HaHa! I first saw Cory Arcangel perform with Beige.. doing 8-bit construction set stuff at a Big Battel downtown :) seems like years ago -- oh, i guess it was.
- twhid (guest) 12-30-2004 4:03 am

old news..

I suppose it sounds like that.. but that's not what I meant :-)

Just thought it was funny because that's where I first saw Cory perform (tho I was aware of his stuff) and I had no idea what Kaiju was. Actually, I think M.River got sick and we left before the main event in the cage. I was clueless as to why dudes in crazy costumes were wrestling in the crowd during Beige's performance.
- twhid 12-30-2004 7:54 pm

(sweet pea?)
- anonymous (guest) 12-31-2004 10:12 am

anon - Wha--?
twhid, sorry, I get nervous and defensive when doing anything in the realm of trendspotting.
- tom moody 12-31-2004 11:59 pm

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